Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

JRC Technical Report // Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

By Kougias I., Szabó S., Scarlat N., Monforti F., Banja M., Bódis K., Moner-Girona M. Mitigating the big challenges of access to clean water, energy and poverty in Africa requires integrated solutions. The analysis of issues related to the water, energy, food and the ecosystem through a nexus approach, has attracted the interest of scientists, policy-makers and the private sector. The present Technical Report examines the potential of such an approach to create beneficial synergies between the energy, water and agriculture sectors in Africa. Thus, it presents the potential of the solar Photovoltaic technology to support efforts for sustainable development.

Solar based water pumping systems and their technical characteristics are presented in detail. Their advantageous characteristics under certain conditions are compared to the current common practice of fossil fuel-based water pumps, that is clearly not sustainable.

Equally important the report discusses the potential of solar pumping systems to provide electricity to communities, through the development of rural mini-grids. The suitability of such an approach is then analysed based on technical characteristics, the availability of solar irradiation, the economics-incentives as well as the climate policies. The aim is to add to the existing knowledge related to a technology that can utilize local African renewable energy sources and extract water resources that will eventually support agricultural activities, food production and economic development.

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Water-Energy-Food Nexus Interactions Assessment: Renewable Energy Sources to support Water Access and Quality in West Africa

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2018

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